Principles of Engineering Course Background
Project Lead The Way
Opportunities for Girls in PLTW
Principles of Engineering Class Information
- Class competitions in developing compound machines to perform given challenges
- The ever popular recycling machine project
- Designing trusses for competition
- Designing electrical circuits
- Determining trajectories through ballistic device development
Video: Delivery Vehicle Control Project
This is a fun challenge from Principles of Engineering that Mason and Ryan mastered. The problem that was posed to Mason and Ryan was that there was an assembly plant that needed a design vehicle to travel back and forth along a track based upon an input from one dial that could be turned. For safety reasons, this vehicle needed an emergency shut off switch on each side of the track in case the vehicle traveled too far. Mason and Ryan made the model vehicle in the following video, and designed a program in Robo Pro software to detect when a dial was turned on a potentiometer. Great Work!
Video: Elevator Project
One of the machine control projects for the Principles of Engineering class was to build an elevator. This elevator prototype needed to have 3 call switches to tell it which floor to go to. Students not only built the physical structure for this machine, but they also developed the intuitive program to tell it how to function. Great work Matt, Nick, Derek, and Ryan!
Video: Truss Design Challenge
The Principles of Engineering class learned how to calculate the forces upon members of a truss. Each group then designed their own truss and tested it in a competition to determine the strongest truss. The following videos show the design and testing process.
Video: Cable Winding Project
Cable Winding Challenge
In this project, Brandon and Brennen were given a challenge to build a machine that could accurately wind a specific length of cable. The machine they built in the following video, had a light shine through holes that were spaced around the perimeter of a gear. As this gear turned, a photo-transistor on the opposite side of the light detected each time a hole in the gear passed by. They then made a computer program using Robo Pro software that counted the number of times the gear rotated. The program was then set to terminate after the gear rotated a specified number of times. Great work!
Video: Principles of Engineering - Solar Fuel Cell Car
Principles of Engineering- Solar Fuel Cell Car
One of the renewable energy units in the Principles of Engineering (POE) course involves learning about alternative energy sources such as solar and hydrogen. Although current technology is a long way away from allowing hydrogen to be a viable energy source, knowledge of this option is good for students to learn about. As a result, students in POE build a car powered by solar and fuel cells. They then determine methods to optimize efficiency with this car. The following video shows one of these cars in action.
Video: Summo Bots
One of the culminating projects for POE is to build and compete in the class summo bot competition. For this project, students build a car and joystick controller with fishertechnik components. They then write a program that allows the car to maneuver from inputs from a joystick. Students not only learn alot through this project, but they also have alot of fun.
The following short video clips show a couple of the competitions in action.
Video: Soccer Goal Detector Project
Soccer Goal Detector:
This is a fun project from Principles of Engineering that David and Hunter built. The problem that they were given was that they needed to build a machine control that displayed when a soccer ball passed through a goal. To accomplish this, David and Hunter built a model goal post and placed reed switches around its perimeter. They then modified the soccer ball to make it magnetized. The Robo Pro program that they developed was designed so that when a reed switch sensed that the magnetized ball passed by, a light blinked for 10 seconds and a buzzer sounded. Although this was a great starting solution, Hunter and David realized that they may need to make further modifications to account for a soccer ball passing close by on the outside of the goal posts.
Video: Recycling Machine
One of the many highlights of the Principles of Engineering class is the Recycling Machine Project. For this project, students are given 5 different types of materials in the form of a marble. These include glass, plastic, metal, aluminum, and wood. They are then given 3 of each of these types to total 15 marbles. The goal of this project is for students to build and program an device that can sort each of these materials into separate bins. The following video shows one of these machines in action. Great work!